We end up with a fair amount of glass bottles and jars that we must then find a way to reuse and repurpose. Coconut oil jars, jam jars, Trader Joe’s sliced peaches jars, artichoke hearts jars, and lately my mom’s Kombucha jars. I introduced her to the chia seed Kombucha from GT and she is becoming a fan I think. Most jars end up being beverage and smoothie glasses but other things become storage for dried goods…like wood ears from the Asian market or dried fruit. Old maple syrup bottles are great for bottling homemade syrup and Kombucha bottles are perfect for home brewed Kombucha.
Conserving electricity is a necessity for parents who want to save money. As a mom, you may be interested in finding a unique and innovative approach to getting your kids involved with helping you conserve electricity for the home. It is always a good idea to teach children the importance of saving electricity from a young age so that it is something they learn, understand, and continue to do even when they become adults.
Turning Lights Off
Turning the lights off in rooms when there is no one inside of it is one sure way to save electricity. It makes no sense to leave lights on a room if no one is using the room at the time. Why waste electricity? You can teach your children with helpful reminders to always shut off the light in their room, the bathroom, or any other room inside of the home. Explain to your children that cutting the lights off when they are not being used helps to save money, which means more money that can be used towards family vacations and fun filled activities.
Powering Off Games and Televisions
Many children have at least one type of video game console. When the video game console is plugged in but is not being used, it is simply sitting there and wasting electricity. And, the same thing goes for leaving the television on when no one is watching it. You can talk to your children about powering off the television and games when they are not being used and how it can also help to save money in the long run. As a family you can also decide on a decent time for games and television to be turned off at night.
Going Green with the Family
You and your children can take the initiative to go green by changing certain things in the home with energy saving products. Traditional light bulbs in the home can waste a lot of energy and also tend to wear out faster than the compact fluorescent light bulbs. The compact fluorescent light bulbs conserve energy and reduce costs, but they also last for a long period of time. Getting kids of all ages to interact with the responsibility of conserving energy is a sure way to educate your children while saving money at the same time.
Create Competitive Contests
You can create competitive contests for the entire family. For example, you can set a plan for saving electricity. After setting the plan, you would come up with an idea on how much the electricity bill should cost for the month. If the entire family is able to save electricity and lower the cost of the bill, you all will have won the contest for the month, which means a special prize can be rewarded to everyone. The prize could include a trip to the zoo, museum, or even a pizza party.
Make the learning experience fun and your child will love helping your save money on electricity. Whether it’s something as simple as encouraging the kids to turn off the lights when they leave the room or something as complex as implementing an entire green initiative in the home, you can get everyone in the family involved and excited about the changes.
I think sometimes we green moms are often viewed as being hysterical about toxins in our home and environment. We are hyper vigilant about all the stuff we bring into our lives because so much of it has the potential to be harboring toxic substances. Think about the mattresses we sleep on, the detergent we wash our clothes with, and the shampoo we use on our children’s hair during bath time. All of these sources and hundreds more have the potential to make us sick, individually and cumulatively. It is isn’t hysterical to address these very serious issues, to me it is just common sense. I am frankly sick to death of those who want to paint us in a bad light because we care so much.
While I think that keeping my family safe and my home as green and healthy as possible is important stuff…it isn’t all that hard or complicated. Once you do the initial research and start taking baby steps to clean up your act you realize that green housekeeping is actually pretty easy and nothing to stress about. I am not having daily panic attacks about phthalates or screaming at my husband because he bought a shaving cream with unsavory ingredients. We are actually pretty chill. Going greener does not have to be stressful or detract form the enjoyment of your life. I think that is why I love the Day in the Life video (below) from Seventh Generation. It shows a green family having fun and enjoying their home and family life all the while protecting themselves from unnecessary chemicals. They are not crunchy wackadoos or martyrs. They are just a regular family living a bit more consciously.
I also love their Lemongrass & Thyme multi surface cleaner…just sayin. :)
This post is sponsored by Seventh Generation. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
This past weekend I had the great pleasure of attending the largest climate change rally in the history of the US. Some are saying it ended up being one of the largest environmental rallies in history as well. It was a humbling experience to march on Washington and stand united with others who share my concern for the environment and my frustration that progress on climate change has been virtually nonexistent. It was a doubly wonderful experience because I was able to take my 12 year old son with me and share the experience and the activism with him.
When I heard about the Forward on Climate Rally that was taking place in DC I knew wanted to attend. It works very well with my New Year’s goals for this year to be more involved with philanthropic activities and personal activism. I have a tendency to use my words more than my actual voice. I blog about important issues to help educate others, I encourage letter writing and petition signing, and I encourage voting with our wallets. What I don’t typically do is use my actual voice to get the message out. Trying to impact change with my blog is great but I also want my kids to see me going out and taking action as well. This year I want to step away from the computer and do more in person, for myself, but also for my kids who really cannot see what I am doing behind the screen.
I want to set an example for my children and show them that we must do more than gripe and complain about the issues and problems we see, that we have to take action. I took my 12 year old with me, so he could experience the rally and learn from those that attended it. We had many great conversations and I think he learned something valuable that he couldn’t get from just hearing mom talk or seeing a news story. I hope that it sets the stage for his own activism and that as a group we also made it clear to our political leaders that support for cleaner, greener action and legislation is in fact there. Attending this rally accomplished that and so much more.
Me (left) and some other Ohio moms, including Jenny Linn Confer of MCAF – Photo Credit: Bryan Saums
My son enjoyed just about every aspect of the trip/rally, except perhaps the biting cold, but who did like that? He got to hear Rosario Dawson speak and she makes an appearance in a few of his favorite movies. I think that had to make an impression on him. Also amazing was the energy and enthusiasm of the 40,000+ people there. We met many great people, including the amazing folks we carpooled with and roomed with. They made the experience so much more and I look forward to teaming up with them again on other issues. Big sloppy kisses to the Sierra Club and Moms Clean Air Force who made this experience possible.
Another aspect of the rally that really stayed with me is just how diverse the people and interests were at this rally but how united everyone was. They all had different reasons for being there and different “hot” issues that they cared about… Tar sands, Keystone KL, coal, fracking, clean water, clean food, clean air, species protection, toxic environments for children, etc. There were also people there from a variety of states showing how the issues impact them personally. The large Ohio group for instance was very concerned about fracking. It is big issue for us here in the Buckeye state.
The energy was contagious. If we want to impress upon young kids that these are important issues and causes then we have to find a way to reach them. There were people of all ages there and getting to know them and learn about why they care so much ensures that you cannot help but care too. It was a great experience for my son and has spurred many deep questions about issues and politics. It was important for him to hear it from other people instead of just me. Sometimes I believe he thinks I am being overly dramatic. Now he knows just how many other people are concerned and that he should be too.
Soda is one those hot button topics for many. Health minded parents think of it as thorn in their side…something always there to tempt kids into drinking tons of sugar. Many people could care less and they happily consume it in mass quantities and cry foul whenever legislation arises to tax it or limit it. It is a hot topic because it is a hugely controversial product and hugely unhealthy.
Now this is not to say that my own kids never have soda. In fact they do. It is our rule that soda is not to be consumed at home but if we eat out (which is not very often) they can order soda. If we go to someone else’s home who has soda we require they drink a full of glass of water before they drink the soda and typically this means they cannot finish the soda, which is a-okay with me. For some reason it never occurred to me until JUST now that we could also do this at restaurants. Hello? New rule!
Why don’t I ban it completely? Well, I don’t want my kids to lose respect my words of wisdom when they inevitably see other kids all around them who are allowed to drink the sugary stuff. I don’t want them to think I am some hippy dippy overreacting mom and thus make the soda even more powerful in their minds. Whether or not this is a good idea remains to be seen (letting them have ANY that is). I am hoping that they develop a keen eye for the dangers of soda and that they end up liking so many other beverage options they don’t need it later on in life. I also hope to turn out kids who can make wicked back of home brewed Kombucha!
I was encouraged recently to read an article about how soda makers are reporting lower revenues and how the production of high fructose corn syrup is declining. This is great news in my mind although this is also why the soda companies are now buying out companies that make healthier drinks, like my Zico coconut water I can no longer drink thanks to them being bought by GMO supporting Coke. Ugh! At any rate if soda profits are falling then people are getting wise to just how bad this stuff is. Another article came across my radar this morning about a 31 year old woman who died due to what her doctors call a Coke addiction. She was drinking 2 gallons of the stuff a day and even gave birth to a child who had no tooth enamel, thanks to the soda. Scary stuff!
The part that stuck out to me in that article was how her family feels she was addicted and had withdrawal symptoms whenever she tried to stop drinking it. I had a similar experience when I stopped drinking soda. It was 2-3 days of terrible flu like symptoms and headaches. That stuff really is addicting and I have no doubt that years from now it will be common knowledge that soda companies formulated products with that in mind.
So what you can drink instead of soda? Here are some of the things we drink. What do you drink?
Flavored Water – Add ginger, citrus fruits or berries (can also be frozen), herbs, cucumber, vinegar.